USAA American Express Credit Cards

USAA American Express Rewards Credit Cards

A credit card is similar to a loan from your bank, in that it lets you make purchases when you don’t have cash up-front, such as for a car, house, or appliances. Every card comes with some limit you’re allowed to put on it, i.e. $10,000. This blog is going to discuss everything you need to know about credit cards and how to use a great credit score to your advantage. Since USAA offers a lot of credit card choices, this blog will focus on the American Express Rewards Credit Cards.

USAA  Rewards Cards

Reward points are points that you earn when you make qualifying purchases with your credit card that can be converted into cash or redeemed for travel expenses, such as plane tickets. Rewards cards can be a versatile way for you to get the most out of your travel experience. Each card has different rewards, depending on what you want out of the card. For example, if you want to earn points for travel and get comped plane tickets, then you should get a travel rewards card. USAA offers rewards cards from both American Express and Visa, so we’ll organize each card based on their sponsor company.

Why Should I Apply For a Rewards Credit Card?

It is my personal opinion that everyone should have some sort of rewards or cashback card, as long as it doesn’t compromise your financial integrity. In our normal daily lives, we have to spend money on groceries, gas for our vehicles, Amazon Prime, and going out to restaurants to eat with your loved ones.  If you don’t have a rewards card, you are throwing away an opportunity for comped food and travel expenses, such as plane tickets, car rentals, and hotel stays. If getting free tickets to travel the world isn’t enough, using a credit card responsibly will increase your credit score.

What Happens if I Don’t Qualify for a Credit Card?

There are many reasons why someone wouldn’t qualify for a credit card, but the most common is poor credit from too much debt. For those on Active-Duty, as horrible as it sounds, I recommend going to your 1st Sergeant and asking for help on how to get your debt down and credit score up (1st Sergeants seem to live for that stuff). If you’re a Veteran or civilian reading this, I would look into some sort of debt relief company, such as Freedom Debt Relief. If you’re in debt because you made an issue with your tax return or forgot to file your taxes, you could always talk to organizations, like IRS Tax Debt Pros.

Why Should I Get Renters Insurance?

This may seem odd, but renters insurance is a must if you don’t own the place you’re currently living in because it can help if someone steals your identity by stealing your credit cards and mail at your apartment, USAA Renters Insurance will cover you.   In most places I’ve been to, landlords won’t rent without showing proof of Renters Insurance. If you’re concerned that you don’t know enough about renters insurance, we have blogs filled with everything you need to know about USAA Renters Insurance. If you want to look at other companies, besides USAA, this chart below is a good starting point.

*If you feel like you need more convincing to get Renters Insurance, read “5 Reasons to Get Renters Insurance”.

USAA Rewards American Express Card

A USAA Rewards card by American Express is a great way to get your feet wet into buying a credit card because of the flexibility and no annual fee. When you want to build your credit, you can work on making purchases from your rewards card and reap the benefits of things you would buy anyway. There are 4 main categories (Dining, Gas, Groceries, Other) for you to think about when making purchases with your credit card. The points scale is set up to give you the allotted points per category based on each dollar spent. For example, if you spend $50 on dinner with your wife, you’ll receive 150 points for the dinner you had. Each card is different, but you can expect to get just over 1 cent per point.

Rewards Category Rewards Earned Qualifications
Dining 3 points Any restaurant that is licensed in the United States qualifies for redemption. (Wendy’s, MacDonalds, Applebees, Red Lobster, etc…)
Gas 2 points Any of the major gas stations in the country will qualify you for points.
Groceries 2 points Any grocery store that is licensed qualifies for this redemption. Whole-Sale businesses like Costco and Sam’s Club are excluded.
Other 1 point This is a catch-all to give you points based on every dollar you charge to this card.

Interest Rates and Charges For USAA Rewards American Express Card

Every credit card in the world will say they offer low APR rates that will give you the most flexibility on when to pay off your charge. However, I beg of you to think about what you put on your credit card before you just start swiping your card everywhere. The simplest way to do this is to never charge anything unless you can pay it off within a couple months. The simple concept of never spending more than you have should be your guiding principle for using credit cards. If you have great credit, you could get an APR as little as 11.40% for all purchases after the payment window ends. For example, if you go out to dinner with your family and charge it, you’ll be given a few months (at most) to make a payment before the APR kicks-in. This is the biggest reason to always pay off your credit card as quickly as you can, so you can avoid paying 11.40% of that charge.

What are the Annual Fees for the American Express Rewards Card
Before you apply for any credit card, you need to make sure you understand the associated fees that go into each card. The best feature of this card is the zero-fee for ownership because you don’t have to worry about getting the most out of the card by spending more money to get more rewards. This card allows you to spend at your normal rate and get the benefits of living your life. If you’re an international traveler or stationed across the world in the military, you will be charged NO FOREIGN TRANSACTION FEES! This could save thousands of Americans, hundreds of dollars in foreign fees.

American Express Rewards Card Fees
Annual Fee $0
Balance Transfer You will pay 3% of the total amount that you decide to transfer for accounts
Cash Advance 3% of the amount of each cash advance. Fee waived when transferring funds electronically to a USAA deposit account.
Foreign Transaction None
Late Payment up to $35. The 1st-time offense is $25 within the 6-month payment window
Returned Payment up to $35.
Over-the-Credit Limit If you accidentally (or intentionally) over-charge your card due for whatever reason, you won’t be charged an extra fee.

Why I should Apply For the American Express Rewards Card?

The American Express Rewards Card is going to give confidence that no matter if your card or identity is stolen, you will face no liability for any purchase that someone charges to your card. For example, I have been alerted by USAA 5 times that my identity had been stolen, besides sending me a new card, I never saw a bill or charge on my account.  If you use this card as your major spending card, you’ll receive unlimited points on everything you buy. I think of it like getting back money I spent on something I was going to buy in the first place. For active-duty soldiers deploying to a war zone, USAA will connect you with the deployment team to get all of your financials in order before you go and after you get back (they also help organize everything for your next of kin if you don’t come back).

 USAA American Express Military Affiliate Credit Card

The Affiliate card is one of the best ways to customize your card with your branch of service or veteran organization that USAA is affiliated with. This card offers fewer reward points than the original card, but it offers excellent perks such as collision damage waiver coverage, which pays for physical damage on any rental car you buy and covers you if someone steals your rental car. As with the American Express Rewards Card, you get identity theft resolutions services that inform you of suspicious activity and protects you from incurring any cost due to theft. More than a million people every year have their credit card information stolen (5 times for me!), and its best to protect yourself when this happens. Another awesome perk is the extended warranty on manufacturers or U.S. store brand warranties for up to one year.

Rewards Category Rewards Earned Qualifications
Dining 2 points Any restaurant that is licensed in the United States qualifies for redemption. (Wendy’s, MacDonalds, Applebees, Red Lobster, etc…)
Gas 2 points Any of the major gas stations in the country will qualify you for points.
Other 1 point This is a catch-all to give you points based on every dollar you charge to this card.

What Are The Fees and Rates For The American Express Affiliate Card?

As you are approved of this card, you will pay 0% interest for the first year of your card and as low as 12.40% after the first year. The rates for this card are going to be higher than the American Express Rewards Card, but you still don’t have to pay an annual fee. This card is going to give the same fees as the first card, but you’re not going to get as many rewards points. I look at this card as a way to have fun with the aesthetics of your credit card while still enjoying the benefits of a rewards card.

American Express Affiliate Card Fees
Annual Fee $0
Balance Transfer You will pay 3% of the total amount that you decide to transfer for accounts
Cash Advance 3% of the amount of each cash advance. Fee waived when transferring funds electronically to a USAA deposit account.
Foreign Transaction None
Late Payment up to $35. The 1st-time offense is $25 within the 6-month payment window
Returned Payment up to $35.
Over-the-Credit Limit If you accidentally (or intentionally) over-charge your card due for whatever reason, you won’t be charged an extra fee.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

JOIN OUR LIST TO RECEIVE SPECIAL OFFERS, UPDATES, AND EVERYTHING RE FACTOR TACTICAL.

RE|Factor Tactical